Marine Corps Clears Up Tattoo Policy

marine corps helicopter pilotThe Marine Corps launched extra guidelines to its tattoo coverage final month, banning extra locations on the physique the place Marines can’t get them and setting harder guidelines for officers.

Click Here For Updated Marine Corps Tattoo Policy

In addition to the already prohibited head and neck, Marines can’t get tattoos or manufacturers on their palms, fingers, wrists or inside their mouths, based on Marine Administrative Message 29/10 launched Jan. 15, 2010.

Both commissioned and warrant officers at the moment are restricted to 4 tattoos or manufacturers seen when sporting the usual bodily coaching uniform, based on the brand new coverage.

The coverage’s intent is “to ensure Marines can be assigned whenever and wherever they are needed,” said the message.

The current change helped to make clear the March 2007 overhaul of the Corps’ tattoo coverage, which prohibited extreme tattoos overlaying legs and arms.

“I believe tattoos of an excessive nature do not represent our traditional values. Some have taken the liberty of tattooing themselves to a point that is contrary to our professional demeanor and the high standards America has come to expect from us,” stated Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, in a March 19, 2007, message.

The new coverage additionally clarified the scale of any tattoos seen in PT uniforms can’t be bigger than the wearer’s hand with fingers prolonged and joined and the thumb touching the bottom of the index finger. The 2007 coverage was imprecise on the scale, stating solely that very giant tattoos or collections of smaller tattoos overlaying all or most of an individual’s arms or legs – additionally known as sleeve tattoos – had been unauthorized.

For officers, band tattoos wider than 2 inches at the moment are prohibited. Enlisted Marines are allowed bands solely as extensive as one quarter of the arm or leg the place it’s tattooed as seen within the PT uniform. Band tattoos can both partially or absolutely encircle the circumference of the arm or leg.

Additionally, any enlisted Marine who had grandfathered sleeve tattoos can now not apply for any Marine Corps commissioning or warrant officer packages.

“A Marine with tattoos doesn’t mean you’re a bad Marine,” stated Sgt. Maj. William Wiseman, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron sergeant main. “However, since tattoos are a visual reminder of your personal thoughts, feelings and ideas, a Marine with visible tattoos may not be the best candidate for a high-profile assignment. Since the Marine Corps has the most recognizable uniform in the world, this makes the Corps a high-profile assignment. … You joined the Corps; the Corps didn’t join you.”

In September 2008, Marines with extreme tattoos had been banned from holding the special-duty assignments of recruiter and Marine safety guard at U.S. embassies. Marines in these jobs “have a significant impact on public perception,” based on MarAdmin 494/08.

The current message additionally reiterated that tattoos or manufacturers proceed to be topic to evaluate in some circumstances pertaining to promotion, future assignments and coaching to find out if any would possibly tarnish the Corps’ status.

Any tattoos which can be racist, sexist, drug-related, vulgar, anti-American or are related to any extremist group or gang are already not permitted on Marines.

The new coverage additionally banned apparently invisible tattoos that use ultraviolet ink solely seen underneath a black gentle.

Marines who at the moment have any of the now-prohibited tattoos gained’t face any punishment, however they have to doc the tattoos with pictures of their service file books no later than June 1, 2010.

Lance Cpl. Jakob Schulz contributed to this report.

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